May 17, 2020 Subject:
Autodidacts delight! a must read for all would be Heroes.
This story is a great example of oral European tradition in that it works on several levels simultaneously. Oral culture is the telling of stories within stories, as a frame story, and also as a multipurpose vehicle for entertainment, knowledge, cultural values, philosophy, and even aspects of the great mysteries. At it's most basic layer it is a delightful peek into rural life during the Renaissance, filled with adventure, romance, challenges, and duels between the characters. On the next level as a moral story, about good and evil, a lesson for the simpletons to be good, and that evil (even in thought) is rightfully punished. Yet on a deeper level it is a story based on strong esoteric foundations with the hero undergoing a struggle to better himself and his lot in life, the failures that redouble his determination to succeed, and the sense that the path of struggle has no end. Deeper still, the story operates on a archetypal level as the journey of a young man undergoing a right of passage. Becoming a shaman, a magician, metaphorically assuming Wolf-Shape. A true Shaman who the peasants fear, the powerful must respect (albeit as an enemy), and who wields his will itself as a weapon. Perhaps deepest of all 'The Wolf-Leader' reflects the beauty of nature, the pettiness of human endeavors, our paradoxical power/powerlessness over our lives, and the inevitability of death.